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Jules Kounde tells Barcelona to ‘up the intensity’ against Manchester United

The defender says the team must be better than last week

FC Barcelona v Cadiz CF - LaLiga Santander Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Jules Kounde has urged Barcelona to “up the intensity” at Old Trafford on Thursday night as they bid to beat Manchester United and book a place in the last 16 of the Europa League.

The Catalans drew 2-2 in the first leg with Erik ten Hag’s side, and Kounde says they must be better in the return if they are to progress.

“We played a good game at home, but we have to up the intensity,” he told a press conference.

“We have to press well. It’s key to recover high balls, which will give us things. It’s a big rival, in a big stadium and we’re really looking forward to it. We have everything we need to win and go through to the next round.”

Kounde will come up against Marcus Rashford again and spoke about the incident between the two in the first leg which led United to call for a red card for the Barca defender.

“He’s a very versatile player, very quick, good in space, great in the area to finish off actions. It’s always a challenge to play against someone like him, but also exciting. It’s why we play,” he said.

“I think it was 50-50. Maybe there is contact but I think it’s very light and the referee decided not to [send me off]. I don’t feel lucky, it was a decision made by the referee.”

Rashford scored twice at the weekend to take his tally to the season to 24 in all competitions for Manchester United.

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